The biennial Symposium of International Automotive Technology (SIAT), now in its 14th iteration, is a gathering of technocrats and members of the automotive fraternity from around the world. Organised by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the SIAT aims at initiatives to enhance the automotive industry and environment through discussions and expos. The previous iteration of the symposium revolved around the theme of a safer, cleaner and quieter world and the 2015 SIAT continues on the same path.
Technocrats from around the world submitted as many as 213 technical papers on various subjects that envision automotive safety, greener technologies and various testing and validation processes. Significant papers and abstracts for the symposium will make their way onto SAE's international website. Alongside discussions and presentations, the SIAT also hosted an exhibition where equipment manufacturers and solution providers from across the automotive and engineering spectrum showcased varied technologies and processes that fell in line with the 2015 SIAT's theme.
The most common were automotive testing and validation solution providers, including big names like Institut d'Investicaci Aplicada de l'Autombil (IDIADA) and Racelogic. With the help of simulations or actual product demonstrations, their focus was on showcasing advanced testing processes on vehicle and structural dynamics, ride and handling, engine performance assessment etc.
The expo also included technology and solution providers who showcased their expertise in eco-friendly processes like emission control, air quality analysis and after-treatment technologies. These weren't restricted to processes for automobile emissions alone, but also focussed on introducing greener changes in the manufacturing processes, facility setups and after-treatment procedures. With driver aids fast becoming popular, various driver assistance systems and inter-vehicle communication systems also made an appearance atthe SIAT exhibition. The ARAI itself showcased various techniques involving the evaluation, homologation and validation of vehicles that it approves for Indian roads.
The SIAT also supported the government's Make in India initiative and representatives from the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways spoke about their ideas and suggestions on this initiative with respect to the automotive industry. Apart from welcoming more investment and manufacturing processes from the global automotive fraternity to India, the initiative also involves improving the knowledge-base and skill set among members of the Indian automotive sector.
Besides discussions and exhibits, the ARAI also announced that it is in the process of setting up a new crash test facility near Chakan in Pune, to test frontal, side and offset impact for vehicles that are being homologated in India. The ARAI representatives told OVERDRIVE that they are also in talks with the government for setting up new standards for safety and for easing the development and manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids (HEVs). The latter is being worked upon under a National Electric Mobility Plan (NEMP) and has already got an initial approval of Rs 1,000 crore from the finance ministry.
The ARAI seems to be quite positive about the new initiatives and plans and with the Indian automotive industry evolving at an exponential pace, we are glad that the right steps are being taken for its development.